People are busier than ever these days. As a society, we are taught to juggle so many things at once without even a bathroom break. At least for me, sometimes I feel like I’m walking around like I’m a zombie. No time for fun and only focused on the task at hand! One thing I’ve missed since my life kicked into high gear is reading. I used to spend hours and hours exploring new worlds, meeting new characters, and getting lost in a dream. But ever since I discovered audiobooks, it’s rekindled that old passion for reading I once had – and I’m not the only one! Thousands of people around the world love audiobooks…but what exactly is the appeal?
1. Flexibility – anywhere, anytime!
While I always enjoy reading an actual book that’s in my hands, it’s not the most practical way to enjoy stories in today’s fast-paced modern lifestyle. Not only do you have to lug the book around wherever you want to read it, but you also have to make the effort to read when the location might not be the best (i.e. a crowded bus, a supermarket, etc). But with an audiobook, as long as you have a listening device and a way to listen to said device, you’re good to go! You can listen to the latest thriller or an old classic wherever you want as long as you have a moment to spare. As a busy student, my favorite time to listen to my audiobook is my daily walk to and from class!
2. Ability to imagine even the most complex stories
Sometimes it can even be very difficult to imagine, or begin to imagine, what is going on in a book, especially one that you may not be. delighted to read or which may be particularly dense. You will have read two pages of a book, realized you have no idea what you just read, and have to read the same thing again. If you can’t imagine what you’re reading, it can be hard to commit to a story. But with an audiobook, you have a professional storyteller who interprets the author’s words for you – all you have to do is relax and listen. While you can’t stay engaged 100% of the time with an audiobook, it certainly doesn’t hurt to help create a movie in your own mind!
3. See your favorites in a new light
I was a huge Harry Potter fan pretty much my whole life, or at least for as long as I can remember. Even during my darkest moments of bullying or manipulation, Hogwarts was always there to welcome me home. I’ve seen every movie, read every book, and even dabbled in fanfiction (shame, I know). I never thought I could replicate the magic I felt the first time I took a Harry Potter book, but I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. Narrated by the magical and wonderful Jim Dale (US) and Stephen Fry (UK), these men breathed new life into the already established series. I really feel like I’m experiencing all of this for the first time and I’m so excited that Harry Potter is just the first in a long line of books that have been reinvented for the digital age.
4. Learning a new language just got a whole lot easier
Almost everyone can agree that learning a new language, especially one that may be very different from your native language, is difficult. While some children may get practice manuals or take lessons at school, the only real way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in a place where that language is spoken. So yes, an audiobook doesn’t completely immerse you in a culture, but it’s a step closer to being able to communicate with a whole new group of people. For example, I listen to classic children’s stories, the ones I’ve known for years, in different languages. Not only does it get me closer to understanding a new language, but it’s also a fun puzzle!
5. Say goodbye to awkward silences!
Ahh, awkward silences – something all humans can say they have experienced in life. Sometimes it can be when something has just been said that probably should have remained a thought or when there is simply nothing more to say. Whatever its origin, it happens. But instead of trying to force a conversation, try an audiobook! Either you and your friends could enjoy a new adventure together that can speak for you, or it can allow you all to take a break and recover with your own audio journey. And even if it’s just you, it may just help keep you entertained while doing mundane tasks – my personal battle is doing my laundry. Audible to the rescue!
6. Accessibility – Everyone deserves to enjoy reading
Something I never really realized until the last few years is that there is a significant portion of the world’s population that may not enjoy reading like most people. Some 253 million people worldwide cannot do something as simple as picking up a book and reading it without some form of assistance. Reading has become an integral part of who I am, and without my glasses I couldn’t participate in one of my favorite activities. But now, with an audiobook, people who are blind or partially sighted can explore new worlds and share those experiences with loved ones.
7. Engages a Whole New Generation of Readers
Although I enjoy reading, I am very aware that many, if not most, people disagree with me. Reading became something that is forced on children – the same old, dense and sometimes stuffy classics were offered for every student to read. But instead of trying to find new ways for people to enjoy these classics, they’ve been trained to only consume these stories in one way – by physically reading the book. If some of these students had narrators telling them the story in new and inventive voices, a whole new generation of readers could emerge! Sometimes you just need a helpful nudge to take the plunge into reading, and from there, a forever reader will be born.
I was convinced for a very long time that audiobooks wouldn’t be for me. I physically loved reading a book! And while I still do and always will, audiobooks give me the ability to keep reading even when my schedule is at its busiest. With inventive storytellers, flexible hours, and immersive experiences, anyone can find a reason to enjoy an audiobook. Take my advice and join the party!